Growth August 13, 2020

I wrote a guide to help you write better conversational copy

Harry Dry @harrydry

Conversational copy is writing how you talk. It's powerful. And I love it. But, I’ve never found it easy.

So I spent the last week trying to get the hang of it. And I've come up with this guide. Hope you found it useful:

1/ Don't write AT the reader

Involve the reader in your copy.

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2/ Use your customers' words

It's the easiest way to get the tone right.

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3/ Load up on personal pronouns

People pay attention when you talk directly to them.

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4/ Don't worry about grammar

If you break the rules you’ll sound human.

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5/ Start sentences with conjunctions

It flows better.

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6/ Don't persuade

Let the reader be persuaded.

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7/ Use contractions

Only academics say “you are”.

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8/ Don't imitate

You're alive in inverse proportion to the density of cliches in your writing — Nassim Taleb

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9/ Ditch the thesaurus

You're not impressing anyone.

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10/ Empathise

Understanding your customer is more important than impressing them.

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11/ Respect the competition

It reflects self-confidence.

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12/ Don’t try too hard

Customers can see through fake shit.

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13/ Tell stories

They’re more memorable than facts and figures.

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14/ Read it aloud at the kitchen table

If your partner cringes, re-write it.

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That's all folks!

If you enjoyed this, maybe I can tempt you with my marketing newsletter. I write a weekly email full of real world examples like this!

Any questions or other examples, I'll be in the comments :)

  1. 5

    Thanks Harry. You're the real deal.

    Conversational copy looks simple, but takes a fair bit of effort. So many of us have ingrained habits of academic-style writing; packing everything with info and justifications.

    But people do business with people, not companies - so you have to talk to them like a person.

    1. 3

      Cheers Freddy. Unlearning the academic style is key!

      Once you've been round the block you hear your advice a lot.

      Everyone says they're “all about people”. But look at the average landing page and it's clear they still don't really get it.

      I must have loaded 150 landing pages trying to find these examples. Only a small minority I thought were decent

  2. 2

    Man, at least 10 people from our team say "thanks Harry"

    1. 1

      haha - cheers for sharing Valerie!

  3. 2

    Loved this!! I am DEFINITELY saving for future use 🙏

    One thing I might add is trying your "first draft" using speechnotes or some other voice recorder. I've found that simply speaking about the things I'm trying to say makes everything 1. a lot clearer 2. a lot harder to overthink and 3. gives me a lot less to edit because I've already said everything pretty much as I wanted to write it (just with a few voice to text errors 😂

    Thanks again for this resource!

    1. 1

      nice tip!

      will give it a whirl

  4. 1

    This is an awesome list of suggestions! Thank you.

  5. 1

    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing with us. I figured 14 myself recently and think it makes a huge difference. When you narrate it, even only to yourself, your brain starts to kick in at some point and tries to fill the conversational gaps. I started to rewrite based on that a lot and found I come up with better flowing replies or articles.

  6. 1

    You have written a very good guide. It will be very useful for novice and practicing writers. But I noticed for myself that I need inspiration to write a good text. If it's not there, then I don't even start writing, because I won't get a good result. I had a "creative crisis" moment at university and I downloaded my term paper online and then submitted it to https://www.rewritingservices.net/ and the professionals rewrote and returned a unique job. The quality was great. Nobody noticed the plagiarism and I got the highest grade.

  7. 1

    Hi Harry,

    I love the before and after images. You are a genius! You are in my newsletter twice this week. :-)

    1. 1

      haha. awesome. cheers john. Thank you man

  8. 1

    Thanks Harry! This is very useful. When I write something online I'm always worried about writing in wrong grammar as I'm not a native english speaker. It either sounds too formal or academic. Now I see your post then it makes more sense to be more conversational.

    I'll use this for my upcoming project.

  9. 1

    Harold this is wonderous, thk u.

    1. 2

      haha! laugh now. cry later. thank you!

  10. 1

    This is gr8. Thnx for sharing.

    BTW, how you got your first 1000 Twitter followers? Any specific strategies to get first 1000, then 2000, then 5000 followers? Have you wrote any specific guide/Twitter thead for this? Thanks in adv.

    1. 1

      Cheers - check out the milestones for Marketing Examples (explain it all there)

  11. 1

    Love that last one. Thanks for this :)

  12. 1

    @harrydry You're a wizard man! Just about to read it from the newsletter, then I saw it here as well ;)

    Basically, I modified my copy as I was reading this! If you have some more pointers (I'm sure you do :)), please shoot!

    NEW:
    I start every project thinking 'I'm the next Peter McKinnon'. But then, reality sets in...
    Sound familiar? We know how it feels to struggle with video editing... Let us make you 5x+ faster. And bring back that smile ;)

    To get you started, trimming and cropping are child's play (with instant preview all the way). Synchronizing your video to the beat is done in seconds. Editing your audio is simply seamless.

    And there are quite a few cool effects/transitions you can add.

    Wanna see What You See Is What You Get on Steroids?

    OLD:
    Video editing is usually a very time consuming proces. Let us make make you 10x+ faster!

    To get you started, trimming and cropping are child's play (with instant preview all the way). Synchronizing your video to the beat is done in seconds. Editing your audio is simply seamless.

    And there are quite a few cool effects/transitions you can add.

    It's What You See Is What You Get on Steroids.

    1. 2

      cheers!

      So ... above all the tips here I think clarity and brevity are so important. And I think you're “new” version lacks that a bit.

      For you landing page you want to communicate the message in as few calories as possible ...

      So I'd strip it back a bit and try and explain the value to the consumer faster.

      Then maybe weave in more of the conversational stuff down the page. Good luck

      1. 1

        Thanks! The copy above was for this: https://www.saashub.com/studio-cinematic-alternatives

        I will strip it back for my landing page.

  13. 1

    Hey Harry, thank you so much for good content.

    I love your content, so keep going and make more awesome content for community who are love your content :)

    1. 1

      hahah - Cheers Abdullah. sounds like a plan :)

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